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Schools & Education


There were Dame Schools at Wigtwizzle, Snoddenhill and other outlying places in earlier years.

The teachers in those early years were normally older ladies with little or no qualifications.

With the introduction of the Education Act in 1870 all schools became subject to Government Inspection.

It is important to understand the part that Religious organisations played in the role of Education.

Church schools were all called National Schools; they were used for worship and religious instruction before their respective churches were built.

In the 1920s they were designated to be Church controlled in order to distinguish them from the new Council Schools which were being built at the time.

Joseph Kenworthy in his Handbook Number 18a describes the beginnings of the Sunday School Movement.

Despite the early rivalry between the various places of worship, differences were resolved sufficiently to allow the formation of a Sunday School Union in 1872.

Adult Education was also available at the Mutual Improvement Society, which the Reverend Robertshaw had instigated and where the Sheffield and Leeds weekly newspapers could be read alongside, the Christian World.

The Sheffield Daily Telegraph Obituary notice of the death of Reverend Robertshaw in 1907 revealed that the Minister had been a militant nonconformist a strong Liberal and a dreadful opponent of the Sheffield telegraph.


Bolsterstone Schools

Originally there were two schools in Bolsterstone the Endowed School also known as the Free School or the Old School, it was erected in 1686, and the second one the National School which was built by subscription in 1851, at a cost of £716.

The Endowed school had to be rebuilt in 1857 as the premises were dilapidated, a sum of £234 12s was raised by the trustees for the work to be carried out.

The school functioned as an Elementary School until about 1885, when it was struck off the Education Department list of certified schools on account of the want of a certificated teacher and separate facilities for boys and girls.

Up to this time the Endowment school had been insufficient to provide for the demands of the Education Department but the school was very popular, and had 140 children.

By contrast the National School, which satisfied the requirements of the Department had very few children.

Under these circumstances the trustees of the two schools, at the suggestion of Mr. I. R. Blackiston a Chief Inspector of Schools came to a provisional agreement for the joint use of the two schools.

Under this agreement, the schools were free to all who were entitled to the benefits of the Endowed School, and open to others upon payment of the appropriate fees.

The National School building was used as a mixed school for the elder children who were taught by the former headmaster of the Endowed School.

The Endowed School for the infants was run by a Head Mistress.

After the amalgamation the combined schools were run as a Public Elementary School.

The schools continued to function in this way until 1937, when the Endowed Infant School was closed down, and the National School was reorganised as an Infant and Junior School.

In 1969 the school become over crowded, so the Endowed School building was opened as a classroom for the National School both schools closed in 1992

A history of both these Schools can be studied in article1 Sandtrays and Maypoles and article 2 Sandtrays and Maypoles both written by J.C. Walton. John also wrote a five part Appreciation of the Bolsterstone Endowed School which were published in the Society Paragon Newsletters, these articles can be accessed via the following links.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

For more information about these schools see also the Reminiscences of Bolsterstone School and School days in the 1900’s.

In 1986 the school celebrated its tercentenary pupils and staff celebrated the occasion with special events, dressing in clothes which would have been worn in the days when the school was built.

To mark the occasion the pupils and staff constructed this TERRIFIC scrap book recording some of the activities which were held in celebration of the event.

Just for information there are lots more photographs of the activities of the Bolsterstone Infant and Junior School in more recent years in the Local History section of the Stocksbridge Library.


Deepcar National School

The Deepcar National School was built in Carr Road in 1856 and predates the St Johns Church by around twenty two years.

An extension to the school was built in in 1866 and the infants school in St Johns Road was built in 1896.

Headmasters of the school have been Mr. Cull, Mr. Pyrah, Mr. Garwood and Mr. Jones.

When the schools were transferred to the Royd the Infants became the Royd Infants and the Junior School became the Deepcar St. John’s.

In later years the site was taken over as an annexe of the Stocksbridge College but has since been converted in to private housing.

Here we have class photographs from different years.


And here Teachers and Staff from different years.


Here we present photographs of the schools May Day celebrations.


And here the crowing of May Queens in past years.



In 1953 many parts of the east coast of England were badly damaged by floods.

The children of the school collected items of clothing and other esential items which were taken to the Samuel Fox works for onward distribution.

The first of these two photographs show some of the children loading a lorry outside the school and the second photo shows the items being received at the works by Mr. Vin Marsh one of the security guards employed there.



And finally these two sets of photographs show various activities relating to school life.



Stocksbridge Schools

In 1827 The Independent Ebenezer Chapel was built almost on the very edge of Bolsterstone Parish, in the hamlet of Stocks Bridge.

It was also known as the Jones School after Mr. Henry Jones and Mrs. Henrietta Jones who ran it from 1876 to 1920.

In 1853 the British School was built to house the overflow from the Ebenezer Sunday School.

In 1931 it became known as the British Hall it continued to be used as a Sunday School and for congregational uses it was used by local organisations for concerts, meetings etc. one of the larger classrooms was used by the West Riding County Council as a Library, until it was demolished in the late 1960s.

Why not read this article from an interview with Albert Cook in August of 1996, when Albert talked about his life at the British School.

In November of 1867 the Stocksbridge Works School opened with Mrs Redman as the Headmistress and there were five pupils three boys and two girls in February of 1921 it was re-named as the Works Council School.

The Works School, sometimes known as the Red School and as Bramleys after a head teacher of that name, later became known as the Cooperative School.

In 1910, around the time that the following two photographs were taken, there were 383 Mixed Juniors and 219 Infants in a building so close to the Steelworks it was hated by all who had to endure the noise from the factory.

The following three photographs are of pupils and staff in 1899 and 1902.

The School was bought from Samual Fox & Company Limited by the Co-operative Society in 1927 and they converted it in to a store in December of 1929.

The old Institute building continued to be used as a room for hire for occasions such as concerts and wedding receptions.

The Cooperative Drapery and Haberdashery Departments were housed in a new extension to the School building which later became the Dry Goods Department and more recently was the temporary home of the Housing Office of the District Council.

Why not read this article by Mabel Cooke, Maggie Hill and Lillian Ibbotson recalling memories of their move from the British Hall School to the Works School.

In 1868 the Stocksbridge National School also known as the Stocksbridge Infants School was built at the bottom of Nanny Hill.

It was used as a Day School and Sunday school and Church until St Matthias was built in 1890.

The actual date of the following photograph is unknown to us but it must have been sometime between 1868 and 1890 as there is no sign of any work being carried out in construction of the Church.

The following three photographs are of pupils and staff one in 1902 the dates when the other two were taken are not known.

From 1920 the National School became a Church of England School.

In January 1929 the Council School was officially opened at Shay Road also called the New School it comprised of Infant Junior and Senior departments.

The two wings shown were occupied by the seniors until the junior department grew to such a size that the hall on the far left and the first classroom on the side of the hall were required to accommodate all the pupils.

There were 352 infants, 308 juniors and 267 seniors in 1930.

Originally the seniors came from the Stocksbridge Works School and also from Midhope and Greenmoor schools.

From 1938 pupils from Stocksbridge Church of England Deepcar and Bolsterstone schools also attended here.

It became a High School in 1971 and from 1974 became known as the Stocksbridge School.

The first of the following photographs shows the name as the Stocksbridge County Secondary School and the second shows Mr. Vardy and Mr. Tack with pupils in 1930.

A detailed history of the school from its opening in 1929 through to 1971 is recorded in these two books The History of Stocksbridge School 1929 – 1971 sections 1 & 2 and The History of Stocksbridge School 1929 – 1971 section 3.

In 1955 to accommodate an increasing population an Infant and Nursery School was built at Pot House here you can read an account by June Throssell reminiscing some 50 years on.

In 1963 a Junior School was built at Cedar road.

In 1973 the Roman Catholic Primary School opened at McIntyre Road.


Midhopestones School

Most schools in the area had a Maypole the skill of dancing round the Maypole would be demonstrated on occasions such as the crowning of the May Queen.

Here we see the Midhopestones School Maypole dancing team standing outside the old tin school, circa. 1904.

From left to right are - Gussie Morris, ? , Bernard Digweed, Doris Rodgers,?, ?, ?, ?, Martha

Roberts,?, ?, ?, Annie Taylor, Jessie Marsden, ?, ?. The teacher is Miss Alice W. Brown.

Joseph Kenworthy once described Miss Jones as a most conscientious teacher beloved of all who dwell in the Township of Midhopestones-in-Waldershelf”.

This worthy lady took up her duties on the 1st of November 1906 in the Old (Free) School of 1826 and came into the Council School on June 1915.

The new building, formally opened on the 19th of June 1915 and was conceived in a style at once pleasing and useful and in perfect harmony with the scholastic traditions of the neighbourhood.

Mr Thomas Elliot was the first Head Master to teach in the free School built by Public Subscription in 1826 having previously taught in the School House erected by the help of several well-disposed benefactors in 1732, in which dwelling he resided from his appointment in 1816, to his passing away in 1864.

The school was located on corner of Chapel Lane opposite the Club Inn it opened in 1732 and closed in 1970 as a West Riding Primary School due to the lack of scholars.


Langsett School

The school provided for local children and the children of the workers employed on the construction of the Langsett reservoir.

The School closed on completion of the work.

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